What's hot: Tarpon migration continues along Pinellas beaches. So far, this has been an excellent first part of the season. Favorable winds have helped spot incoming pods.
Tactics: Tarpon have been easiest to spot in the first hour of daylight. This is the time when they are "happy." They can be seen milling and slowly drifting with the tide. A well-placed cast with a live pinfish, threadfin, scaled sardine or crab usually draws a strike. Once the sun is a bit higher, the fish don't show as much. Anchoring up in the lanes where you have spotted fish and keeping fresh baits out is a good option. Keep one rod baited and ready in case fish pop up out of your spread.
What else? Light, east winds have made short runs offshore for hogfish a midmorning option. Anchor on the same ledges where you target gag grouper. Have everyone drop live or fresh frozen shrimp. Bites can be subtle. But as more shrimp go down, your odds go up as they respond well to chum.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email firstname.lastname@example.org.